Image by: Jeff Poskanzer
By Ken Lucas
Food. We all need it to survive, and when aspiring to shed a few pounds it can either serve as your best friend or your worst enemy. With so many different options, how possibly are we supposed to know what to eat and what not to eat? That’s a question that you probably asked yourself during your last grocery outing. Unfortunately, though, the people who work at grocery stores probably know as much about nutrition as they do about how the universe came to be.
This shouldn’t be as big an issue as it seems, because these days you can pretty much find anything you need to know online. But sometimes even then gathering the appropriate details among the sea of information can prove to be daunting. So to make your life a little simpler and a little healthier, here are 5 foods you should keep your hungry gaze away from during your next trip to the market.
I know alcohol isn’t necessarily considered a food, but since it’s something you are capable of consuming I feel it can suffice as something key to avoid when trying to lose weight. Yea, the idea of giving up the after work rum n’ coke mixture may be alarming, but giving up the booze–or at least moderating it significantly–is essential for any of you looking to shed pounds. Alcohol may make you feel good during consumption, but the fact of the matter is it has zero nutritional value and contains only empty calories that can cause you to exceed your daily caloric intake without even noticing, while offering no benefits in return.
Also, something else that is vital to losing weight is keeping a speedy metabolism, and when it comes to this booze does no justice for your body, and will even cause it to slow down past it’s normal functioning. And since it is not a food, it doesn’t give you a feeling of fullness, and won’t keep you from eating.
All that, while adding a sizable amount of calories to your body. So if you’re serious about squeezing into your favorite pair of jeans that you recently outgrew, put aside the bottle.
#2) White Bread
Nowadays it’s relatively rare to see anybody purchase white bread as opposed to it’s wheat or whole grain counterpart. Before I became an avid–or passable, rather–nutrition expert, I was curious to find out why this was so. Among my searches, I found that, like alcohol, white bread has no nutritional value, contains loads of sugar, and isn’t much help when keeping your hunger satisfied. This leaves you reaching for unnecessary snacks throughout the day.
Some researchers even show a correlation between eating larger quantities of white bread and increasing the chances of gaining unwanted weight over a period of 12 years. And some say even breads that masquerade as wheat have similar components to what is contained in white, and would suggest whole grain bread as the healthy alternative. And if you’re looking to avoid the carbs that bread contains all together, then alternatives such as whole grain tortillas, crackers or even lettuce leaves will suffice.
#3) Fried Foods
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that fried foods are on the list, as it is common knowledge that this type of food has a ton of trans fat and can even contain a potent cancer-inducing substance called acrylamide. Eat fried foods, gain fat and get cancer… Okay that might not be the case for everybody, but when considering the indulgence of grease filled delectable delights, consider the idea that even one french fry is more dangerous than one cigarette. Whether that declaration is true or not is beyond me, but according to researchers, this can likely be the case.
MDdonalds, Popeye’s, and KFC may be delicious alternatives to the baked chicken and carrots your wife or mother cooks at home, but before you pull through the drive thru, keep in mind that even one serving of popcorn chicken can veer toward an extra 1,300 calories in your body. And along with the ridiculously high amounts of calories, the fact that the frying oil is seldom changed means you are ingesting that much more fat than you would be in a good old home baked meal.
#4) High Fructose Corn Syrup
With high fructose corn syrup being found in cereals, sauces and even salad dressing, it may be tough to avoid excessive consumption of this common sweetener. While it is debated that HFCS can have some benefits for your body, there is also evidence that suggests it can cause you to gain extra weight quickly and can stimulate an intense craving for sweets or sugary foods, which will in turn cause you to ingest more useless calories, effectively adding unnecessary weight to your frame.
And to make matters even worse, HFCS can also increase the chances of development in health problems like diabetes and heart disease–courtesy of any increased triglyceride levels that can be linked with the excessive consumption of HFCS. To prevent weight gain, and these devastating health problems, it would probably be your best bet to avoid any and all processed sugars and stick to healthier options such as fresh fruits or veggies.
Doughnuts may be among the most delicious, most sensational comfort foods in the U.S., but despite how much our taste buds love them, our metabolism may exhibit more diverse emotions. A doughnut, on average, contains about 300 calories that are combined with little other effective nutrients, but made up of nearly 40% trans-fat. And to top that off, the ingredients that are included in these treats are derived from genetically engineered crops, which can spark a few health risks. Yea, Giving up the counterpart to coffee is a tough decision indeed, but if you look at it as a commitment to reaching your weight loss goals, the withdrawal symptoms might be a little less severe.
Weight loss can be quite a tough obstacle to overcome. What are some healthy alternatives you’ve chosen that don’t result in particles of extra fat being accumulated throughout your body?